We all worry about our health, finances, and family relationships.
However, people with generalized anxiety experience intense anxiety about these and many other things, even when there is little or no cause for concern.
Sometimes these experiences make people with this disorder unable to go about their daily activities.
Generalized anxiety disorder develops slowly and usually debuts in adolescence or young adulthood. Symptoms often worsen during periods of stress.
Several areas of the brain have been found to be associated with fear and anxiety. Research suggests that the intense anxiety that accompanies this disorder may be a way of avoiding or ignoring some deeper problem.
People with generalized anxiety disorder may:
– Worry too much about daily activities.
– Difficulty controlling their constant worrying.
– Realize that they are worrying much more than they should be.
– Difficulty relaxing.
– Difficulty concentrating.
– Problems falling asleep or staying asleep.
– Constant feeling of fatigue.
– Headaches, muscle pain, abdominal pain, or unexplained pain.
– Difficulty swallowing.
– Tremors or tics.
– Feeling irritable, sweating profusely, dizziness, or shortness of breath.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by a state of excessive anxiety lasting at least six months, accompanied by three or more of the following symptoms
– Sleep disturbance.
– Tension or muscle contractions.
– Anxiety or impatience.
– Difficulty concentrating.
This preoccupation causes the sufferer to live in a constant state of tension and wariness, constantly anticipating the possibility of negative events in the future.
The person with GAD feels that he or she lives in a threatening world that is difficult to control and feels that he or she does not have enough resources to cope.
There are several proven cognitive-behavioral techniques to revise and correct a disastrous way of perceiving and processing reality.
Cognitive behavioral therapy offers the individual the tools and techniques to achieve symptom control, thereby beginning the path to symptom elimination.
Treatment is brief and focused on current problems. Treatment aims to identify and change misconceptions or automatic thoughts and behaviors that are unwanted or caused by anxiety or fear.
The ultimate goal is to regain a life free of anxiety or excessive worry.
Thinking is not negative. This is when our mind keeps spinning our thoughts uselessly, generating negative feelings, generating "yeast effect": a thought arising from a small idea or problem generates more and more questions, new interconnections of ideas (problematic and disastrous), generating other negative thoughts that expand, grow, and eventually take over the entire space of our mind.
The result is debilitating. Without finding the right answers or solutions, we fall into gridlock, falling prey to feelings of victimhood ("I can’t get out of it", "I am incapable of"), anxiety ("Tomorrow is going to be a hard day") and depression ("my life is worthless").
Thinking is harmful because it affects our ability to get answers and decisions and can ultimately destroy our physical and emotional health.
We must be clear about one premise: "I am not my thoughts" .
My thoughts are there, ready to question, to take seriously, to transform.
From this point of view, we separate ourselves from them and become external observers of our own thoughts.
The remedy for anxiety caused by thinking is to live in the present.
Focus all your feelings on what you are doing in the present moment. Find out what you like and use it to fuel your energy and self-esteem. Set attainable goals that will lead you to your ultimate goal. Finally, do not forget to enjoy the journey, because it gives strength and courage to achieve the goal.
Anxiety disorders develop from a combination of the sufferer’s genetic, neurochemical, social, and psychological history.
Fortunately, there are now effective medications to reduce the symptoms of anxiety.
We have special psychotropic medications designed to alleviate physical symptoms, promote better rest, and restore the state of mind.
The following medications are indicated to treat generalized anxiety disorder: Antidepressants such as SSRIs (e.g., Paroxetine, Sertraline), Duals (Venlafaxine, Duloxetine) and Tricyclics (Imipramine), and anxiolytics such as Benzodiazepines (Diazepam).
The drugs correct neurochemical dysfunctions in the circuits responsible for controlling anxiety in the brain, and therefore significantly reduce symptoms of the condition until they are eliminated.
Medications used to treat generalized anxiety disorder are safe and effective, but they can take several weeks to work.